36 GEAR GROUP STABILISED SYSTEMS
LIBRA HEAD 7 A few years ago smaller stabilised rigs started to be seen at trade shows, but although the rigs were promising, they were time consuming to set up. The Libra head was known to be able to be thrown in the mud and jumped on ten times and it would still work. No wonder its use is from the most popular franchises such as Harry Potter and James Bond to modern-day cinematic TV series such as Game Of Thrones and everything in between including Mission Impossible, Marvel and Scorsese. It’s very robust and very forgiving of its environment and if you want to put filters on, extra matte boxes or other accessories, it’s not a problem. It’s not sensitive, where other systems can be. Many Libra users describe it as the Ferrari of stabilised heads; but it’s more like a Land Rover in its sturdiness. When you have something that is so efficient and quick to set up you can understand why Libra is so important and so popular. It’s also waterproof and weather resistant. Distributor Camera Revolution is now showing the latest version of the Libra, Libra 7. They’ve been running Libra 5 and 6 for about seven years and in the middle of that the Libra MINI was released. They now have Libra 7, which has bigger motors but more importantly has redundancy built in. There are backup systems in everything; for a gyro head you have a gyro per axis, so what we have seen now is two gyros per axis. Every motor which had a sensor in the back of it now has two sensors. You can now also transmit via Wi-Fi the pan/tilt/roll information to the VFX department, which before would have to be manually logged. The Libra was the first of its kind. It’s been stabilising footage for over 20 years with various versions of the system. Camera Revolution has now evolved its service with other equipment like the Maxima Hand Held camera stabiliser.
DJI RONIN 2 With up to eight times more powerful motors than previous iterations, Ronin 2 can withstand sustained speeds of over 75mph with camera builds as heavy as 30lbs. DJI has increased power without sacrificing control. With encoded motors and extreme precision, the same 0.02° of accuracy remains. With the new Ronin power hub, essential accessories such as DJI Focus and wireless video transmission systems gain power and communicate data with Ronin 2. The new Remote Controller provides dedicated controls for joystick input speed and start/stop recording. Besides this, Ronin 2 is also compatible with third party remote controllers such as hand wheels and traditional remotes through the onboard D-Bus port. Enhanced intelligence means filmmakers can get shots with Ronin 2 that would once have needed specialist expertise or additional equipment, from total smoothness control to studio- oriented smart features. Power systems are now tightly integrated into Ronin 2, capable of powering its motors and the attached camera and accessories without dangling cables or multiple power systems. As it uses a dual battery system, filmmakers can hot swap to keep the camera and accessories powered and maximise shooting time. Robust and resilient in extreme weather conditions, Ronin 2’s self-heating batteries ensure stable power output for high performance in temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F) and high heat environments. Dual batteries capable of operating simultaneously and independently provide complete redundancy, keeping the shoot going. The built-in GPS provides Ronin 2 with essential information for gimbal acceleration and speed, which is crucial for maintaining the camera’s position and the horizon level when moving at high speeds.
Trinity users are calling it ‘camera stabilisation 2.0’. Yes, it can perform like your favourite Steadicam, but it can also do so much more. For instance, you can travel from low to high within one shot. That alone would save you a big amount of production time as you don’t have to decide if you are doing a high-movement sequence or a low-movement sequence: you can do both. The switch between the two on other systems is perhaps 15 to 20 minutes. Trinity is a hybrid solution that combines classic mechanical stabilisation with active electronic stabilisation, provided via 32-bit ARM-based gimbal technology. This combination results in five axes of control and enables fluid, wide-ranging, and precisely controlled movements for shooting using what they brilliantly call the ‘Super Post’. In fact its promise is more than that: watch what can be done on it and you will be hard pressed to distinguish between it and a jib, crane or dolly shot. By inverting the Super Post, the camera can be moved from low mode to high mode during a shot. Using the joystick-controlled, fully stabilised tilt axis to look up or down during this motion is also possible, so a low angle can smoothly transition into an over- the-shoulder shot. By holding the post at 45° and twisting it left or right, the camera can even look around corners, whether in low or high mode. Additional stabilisation in the roll axis permits the use of telephoto lenses. New shots, angles, and movements are achievable when Trinity is used in its fully stabilised mode. For situations that call for a more traditional operating style, it can be switched into a locked mode in which the tilt axis is connected directly to the post in the traditional manner. Like any reinvention of the normal way of doing things, it’s taking a bit of time for directors to understand exactly what they have with Trinity. But this is definitely the future.
DEFINITION JANUARY 2018
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